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Senior Spotlight: Mandy

Mandy Nguyen
Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology

Let’s give this young lady a big high-five! This Wednesday, Mandy will graduate from Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology. She is focused on her goal to become an Occupational Therapist, and her immediate plan to attend Central Piedmont Community College this fall to earn an Associate’s degree. Mandy eventually wants to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and then a Master’s in Occupational Therapy. She credits CIS and her Site Coordinator, Venetia St. Vilus, for helping her see the possibilities for her future and become more confident in her abilities.

“Communities In Schools has endowed me with new possibilities in changing my perspective on how I view the world,” Mandy said. “My Site Coordinator has been with me every step of my high school journey. Ms. St. Vilus would remind me to take a break when needed and gave me new motivation when I felt lost and unsure. She provided a safe space for me in school, and I gained clarity every time I left her office.”

With encouragement from Ms. St. Vilus, Mandy says she began to challenge herself outside of her comfort zone. “I became more confident when encountering unsure situations,” Mandy said. “One example was her motivating me to enter the Technology Students Association’s (TSA) competition, where my team and I ended up placing at the regional and state level.”

Ms. St. Vilus says Mandy is an outstanding scholar – in the top 10% of her graduating class. “Mandy came to me as a shy student, but now is extremely confident with ambitious goals to work in the medical field. She is first-generation in her family to attend college, and I am so proud of what she has accomplished thus far. I am certain she is going to shine as her journey continues!”

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